In a dull summer-to-fall transitional weekend on the foreign theatrical circuit, The Dark Knight Rises appears to have maintained its hold on the No. 1 spot, collecting just $13 million from 6,441 locations in 64 markets and pushing its total overseas gross past the $600-million mark ($603.4 million).
Latest playoff figures in China won’t be in until Tuesday, but distributor Warner Bros. estimated that the Christopher Nolan Batman sequel will draw $5.7 million from 2,100 venues, lifting the market cume to $42.1 million. That makes China the second biggest territory for Rises outside of the U.K. (cume $86.5 million) and Australia ($43.4 million).
If the China figure comes in higher than estimated, Rises will outgross The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner, which drew an estimated $13 million overall at 4,400 venues in 48 territories. The action sequel, which tentatively takes the weekend’s second place, opened No. 1 in Korea ($4 million at 268 sites), the Netherlands and in Iceland, said Universal. Overseas cume stands at $78.2 million.
Millennium-Nu Image Films’ The Expendables 2 continued No. 1 in France ($1.4 million in third round at about 500 sites for a market cume of $12.3 million), No. 2 in Germany and No. 3 in its South Korea opener, drawing an estimated $1.95 million at 400 sites.
The drop off generally in weekend numbers for the film indicates a total weekend figure of an estimated $12 million, which would bring the action sequel’s foreign cume to about $100 million and make it No. 3 on the weekend. Since the film is being handled by myriad local foreign distributors, many weekend numbers won’t be reported until later this week.
Meanwhile, the six Hollywood major studios have reported summer (May through Labor Day) foreign box office figures, and the totals do not bode well for another record calendar year collectively for Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Warner Bros., Universal and Paramount overseas in 2012.
The majors, in fact, lost ground during the summer -- grossing a total of $5.154 billion during the season, down 22% from 2001’s $6.570 billion. That was due in part to distractions provided by the Euro Cup soccer tournament, which drew huge offshore television audiences, and the higher-than anticipated viewership levels for the summer Olympic Games.
The Hollywood studios collectively reported a January-through-Labor Day total of $9.569 billion (down 7% from the comparable $10.3 billion recorded in 2011). That’s about $4 billion short of the all-time foreign box office record ($13.6 billion) set in calendar year 2011.
Sony came in first during the summer, recording $1.097 billion in foreign box office, a 93% jump from 2011 on the strength of The Amazing Spider-Man, Men In Black 3 and Total Recall. Sony’s YTD number through Sept. 2 was $1.587 billion, up 32%.
Second was Fox, which notched a summer total of $1.060 billion, a huge 172.1% increase from 2011. YTD figure was $2.062 billion, tops for the majors this year. Disney, which came in third, drew a summer total of $1.025 billion with the YTD total put at $1.675 billion. Both figures were down from 2011.
Warners also had comparatively down summer ($872 million vs. $1.6 billion) despite the glowing numbers drawn by The Dark Knight Rises ($575 million through Sept. 2). YTD was also down, $1.830 billion versus $2.240 billion in 2011.
Universal had a comparatively sparkling summer ($634.9 million, up 150% from 2011) and YTD was also markedly up, $1.325 billion versus $871.3 million last year). Paramount’s summer number, $465 million, was way down from the $1.55 billion reported for last year, which Par described as “a huge number for the studio.” The studio’s YTD stands at $1.090 billion.
No. 4, Brave, the Pixar animation title released by Disney, lifted its foreign gross total to $254.9 million thanks to a $10.3 million weekend in 53 markets.
FIP-India's Hindi coproduction Raaz 3: The Third Dimension, a thriller directed by Vikram Bhatt, opened via Fox in India and in three other markets to $8.9 million drawn from a total of 2,277 screens, enough for a No. 5 weekend ranking. India portion of the take came to $8.7 million at 2,250 sites.
In Spain, Paramount’s Tad, The Lost Explorer, the latest title in the Tadeo Jones animation series, remained No. 1 in its second round at 335 sites with a weekend tally of 2.2 million. Market cume stands at $8.3 million.
Ted opened in five smaller-size markets, and finished No. 3 in its sixth Germany round at 529 situations for a $1 million gain and a $20.7 million market cume. Overall, the Universal comedy-fantasy with Mark Wahlberg drew $6.4 million on the weekend from 2,340 situations in 34 territories, pushing its foreign gross total to date to $177.8 million.
Fox Prometheus grossed $6.3 million in its second round of China playdates, elevating the entire weekend take from 3,407 venues in seven territories to $8.5 million. Foreign cume stands at $247.7 million.
Sony’s Total Recall, the action/sci-fi update starring Colin Farrell, lifted its foreign cume past the $100-million mark ($108.4 million since making its offshore debut on Aug. 1). Weekend tally came to $5.4 million at 3,910 locations in 70 market.
In Japan, Warner’s release of Ruroni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Roman Tan, a manga-based samurai action drama, finished in the No. 2 spot, drawing $3.2 million from 329 spots. Market cume stands at $25.4 million.
Fox’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opened solidly in Brazil ($2.4 million at 328 spots), and drew $4.9 million on the weekend overall at 2,716 spots in 20 territories. Foreign cume comes in at 60.9 million.
DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted maintained a steady pace in Italy, $2.3 million in its third round at 646 locations for a market cume of $23.7 million. Weekend as a whole provided $4.3 million at 2,401 venues in 34 territories. Foreign cume for the Paramount relese stands at nearly $400 million ($396.7 million).
Of the $3.8 million weekend total from 4,555 sites in 44 markets for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, $3.6 million came from China for a market cume of 40 million. Overseas cume is breathing hard on the half-billion mark ($483.3 million) accumulated since June 27.
Other international cumes: Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers, $886 million over 20 rounds; Fox’s The Three Stooges, $9.1 million; Paramount’s The Dicatator, $117.1 million over 16 rounds; Universal’s ParaNorman, $20.7 million (after a $2.4 million weekend at 2,600 spots in 27 markets); Fox’s Ice Age: Continental Drift, $679 million; Universal’s Anna Karenina, $1.6 million in U.K. opener at 494 locations; Fox’s The Best Exotic Marigold l, Hotel, $88 million; Universal’s Safe House, $79 million after a $1.4 debut in Japan at 248 spots); Fox’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, $13.2 million; Universal’s Savages, $4.3 million; and Fox’s Stefan Vs. Kramer, $10.2 million in Chile only.